Death of a child

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Death of a child by Andy Buhler, CUSO, 69-71

I felt very badly on Friday. A man and his wife brought in a very sick child -- hemoglobin only 3 gm. The child had been sick for three months. The father refused to donate as he said his work was too strenuous (he turned out to be an herbalist doctor); he would not go to find donors as he said he did not know the town; he offered to buy blood as does everyone else (same stories from all). So I told him to take the child and go.

Death of a Child

They came to me

a day when all the sky was bright and cloudless

and the world felt pure and clean.


With my eyes

I saw the tiny bloated figure

its sparse russet hair

pale meatless limbs

and a face of martyred innocence.


To my ears

arose its plaintive cry

half cough, half whimper

from a gasping chest.


Then spoke my tongue

the harsh, inhuman words

condemning it to die.


“I will not treat him!

Take him! Go!”


A small dark cloud

passed close before the sun

and the soft splash of rain

felt like blood upon my hands.

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